The theme for the 2012 congress is 'Rules to Follow (or Not)'.
Rules to Follow (or Not)
All societies operate according to rules, both written and often unwritten. Medieval societies were no exception. Rules affected kingship and lordship; urban and rural communities; secular church and regular monastic life, as well as social groupings, aspects of economic, religious, legal and intellectual life, and even literature and the other arts. People made rules, lived by the rules, and broke rules. In view of the fundamental importance of this topic, the IMC has chosen as its special thematic focus in 2012:
Medieval rules were multifaceted. They might be written down or transmitted orally, configured as conventions, and composed as canons, or imposed by custom and usage, be transmitted by commands and laws, be defined by tradition and consensus or handed down by some higher authority. They might encompass an entire society or culture or be limited to one section of society or a single activity. They might have been associated with legal sanctions and/or with morality, and concepts of sin and virtue. They might become differentiated and varied over time, and they were transmitted from one area of life to another. Rules were frequently long-lasting but equally might sometimes lose their validity over time, or mutate into new forms.
Areas of discussion could include:
The role played by rules in differing forms of institutional life: in kingship and principalities, in territories, towns and villages, in craft guilds, sodalities and brotherhoods; in the Church, within dioceses, ecclesiastical synods, monasteries, and religious or professed knightly orders etc.
The social and intellectual frameworks of rules: social stratifications and hierarchies; sacred or profane spaces; religious axioms; traditions, myths, taboos, social exclusion
The legal framework of rules: divine commandments, or customs, statutes, resolutions, decrees, monastic rules, and charismatic decisions
The types and sources of rules within the fields of scholarship, economy, literature, technology, architecture, fine arts, and music: canons, genres, styles, practices and methods, exemplarity
The presentation and reflections of rules: as subjects of literature and art; as items of jurisprudence, economics, theology and philosophy, and as ritual and ceremonial figurations
Modalities of creating, adapting, legitimating, proclaiming, enforcing, transferring, transgressing, overriding and/or resisting rules
You will be able to submit a proposal for a paper online from late May 2011.